Survey says… readers want local news, coffee shop, hamburger joint and gay gym

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“Out & About Newspaper” readers are very loyal to the publication and aren’t big fans of local opinion columns or sports stories. And, they’d like to see a coffee shop in the Church Street area.

Those are just some of the results of an Out & About Newspaper reader poll that was conducted online from August 4 to August 18 at the O&AN Web site. 269 readers responded to the survey.

Readers were polled on 13 different questions – about everything from their age and income to their reader habits of local GLBT newspapers. They were also asked specific questions about the type of business they’d like to see in the growing gay district on Nashville’s Church Street.

The large majority of respondents – 59.11 percent – said they wanted a coffee shop in the Church Street area. Forty two percent said they’d like to see a short order restaurant (hamburger); 34 percent wanted a pizza place; 34 percent said they’d enjoy having a gay gym – compared with 22 percent who wanted a bathhouse.

One reader wrote in to say that the “gay district needs more restaurants and bars, not retail.” Another reader wrote to say “what we need more than retail is a GLBT community center to provide a welcoming, non-bar-scene place for all GLBT folks to gather.”

Among those who responded, 94.8 percent of the readers said they regularly read “Out & About Newspaper,” 37.92 percent said they regularly read “Inside Out Nashville,” 30.48 percent said they regularly read the “Church Street Freedom Press” and 8.92 percent said they regularly read “Southern Voice.” Other responses included: Memphis’s “Family and Friends,” “The Triangle Journal” from Memphis, “The Advocate,” “Lavender” and “Frontier.” Readers were able to select as many of the publications as they wanted. Many chose to only select one or two.

“We’ve always imagined that most of our readers read all of the local GLBT publications,” said Brent Meredith, editor and creative director of “Out & About Newspaper.” “This survey tells us that about 60 percent of our readers use ‘O&AN’ as their main local GLBT news source.”

Meredith said the reasons why readers pick up and read local GLBT newspapers didn’t surprise him – the results were similar to previous polls conducted by “O&AN.”

The poll showed that 91.82 percent of the readers read local GLBT publications for local GLBT news; 53.16 percent read to find local businesses that support GLBT communities; 51.3 percent read for local GLBT business and entertainment features; 44.98 percent read for bar information and nightlife; 30.11 percent for local gossip. Opinion columns, sports and national wire service news all fell below 30 percent.

“We know from previous polls that our readers do not read the local GLBT papers for sports or opinion columns,” he said.

More than 60 percent of the readers who responded are between the ages of 32 to 50, with the majority having an income between $33,000 and $100,000. Among those who responded, 66.91 percent said they were male, 33.09 female, 63.57 percent gay, 23.79 percent lesbian, 7.06 percent bisexual, 1.86 percent transgender, and 3.72 percent were straight.